Fresh, fragrant, flavoursome and comforting, is there anything to critique when it comes to Vietnamese cuisine? Whether you're someone who's constantly on-the-go or wanting a sit-down meal, meat lover or vegetarian, Vietnamese food caters to everyone's needs. With Vietnamese joints opening on every street corner, Aucklanders are finding themselves struggling to choose where to go. After consuming many bowls of pho and more bánh mi's than considered healthy, we have rounded up a list of Auckland's best Vietnamese restaurants.
In the heart of Britomart, Café Hanoi offers an up-market and modern take of Vietnamese food. The star of the menu is undoubtedly the tiger prawn cutlets coated in young green rice. The prawns are juicy and the green rice is like cereal puffs to give that extra crunchy texture and it's truly a mandatory starting dish when dining here. What really proved the authenticity of this restaurant was the quality of their dipping sauce, otherwise known as nuoc cham. It's fishy, zesty, garlicy and pairs perfectly with their traditional crispy pancake.
Try It Out
Otahuhu & Burswood
A hidden gem in Otahuhu and Burswood—this cheap and cheerful joint is where you can get your hands on arguably the most authentic bowl of beef pho in Auckland. It's fragrant, so much depth in flavour and the perfect amount of oiliness to the broth. Try It Out's traditional pork and ham bánh mi is also nothing but authentic. For those of you who don't know what a bánh mi is, it's a Vietnamese baguette that traditionally has a spreading of paté, some sort of protein, fresh herbs and shredded veggies. Try It Out have got this one down pat and leaving without having one of these would be criminal.
Saigonz is the go-to eatery for when you need to pre-show carb load as Spark Arena is so close-by and is also a buzzing lunch spot! The service is fast but don't let that fool you in thinking they don't deliver bomb tasting flavours. Cooking up classic Vietnamese street food, Saigonz has mastered the rolling technique of rice paper rolls. They are jam-packed with vermicelli noodles, fresh vegetables and they don't stinge out on the meat! Other must-tries would be their lemongrass chicken served on a bed of vermicelli noodles, fresh, light but oh-so filling.
Le Vietnamese Kitchen
With a spacious, dimly lit courtyard, situated in the streets of Ponsonby, Le Vietnamese Kitchen isn't only the place to be when wanting to satisfy your Vietnamese cravings but also a date-night destination. Le Vietnamese Kitchen are in that middle-ground level of upmarket yet authentic. Their lunch menu includes the classic banh mi which they do a damn fine job at but things get more sophisticated in the evening. The five spice chicken is one of their star dishes and you'll thank us for recommending this one after the first bite as it may be the most flavourful bit of chicken you'll ever taste.
Asian Ruby Vietnamese Restaurant
With a head chef who is originally from Hanoi, it's assured that Asian Ruby Vietnamese Restaurant stays true to the flavours of Vietnam. Hot bowls of pho, fistfuls of herbs and coriander are just the basics for this restaurant. Asian Ruby branch out and aren't afraid to give Aucklanders a taste of the more unique flavours of Vietnam like their clam sour broth or Duck Leg Orange dish. The duck is tender as it has been braised for hours and the orange sauce gives it a sweetness that is to die for. They also have our vegetarians backs as they cook up the tastiest meat-free dishes like their slow-cooked kumara curry with onions, shallots and lemongrass!
Another Ponsonby gem is Saigon Kitchen which provides a wide variety of authentic Vietnamese food. They do the staples like beef pho, summer rolls and bánh mi sandwichen but they also do a whole lot of other tasty Vietnamese meals that we all need to get amongst! The curry chicken vermicelli noodles is a bowl of pure aromatic goodness with tender boneless chicken. The soup is different from the beef pho we all know and love as it has a coconut milk base. Think of it as the Vietnamese version of Malaysian laksa but spicier and less creamy, deeeelish.
Tucked away on Fort Street is this little Vietnamese eatery that is making waves in Auckland. Indochine Kitchen's specialty is the infamous Vietnamese dish - the pork bun cha. The charcoal BBQ pork is fragrant and smokey and the vermicelli noodles are bouncy and chewy. Their beef pho is legit, it's comforting and the broth has obviously been brewing for hours to get that deep flavour. Indochine also does a Vietnamese espresso martini which is a rare find in Auckland so there is no excuse for you not to give it try.
The hottest lunch spot in Takapuna, Nam Nam is cooking up quick yet tasty Vietnamese food which includes a vegan mushroom pho! Veganising a Vietnamese dish is actually harder than you think as fish sauce and meat stock is used in almost everything, so props to the people at Nam Nam! Not only do they do authentic street food but they even have Vietnamese iced coffee that you can get to go! If you haven't tried Vietnamese iced coffee, let us give you a little brief. The blend is a dark roast but it's mixed in with sweet condensed milk to add some creaminess and sugary goodness to the bevvy, an absolute delight.
Sen Vietnamese Kitchen
Situated on Normanby Road in Mt. Eden is Sen Vietnamese Kitchen serving up some of the most authentic and tasty Vietnamese eats. The quality of food is paired with a modern fit out and the ambience of this restaurant has made it one of the faves amongst Aucklanders. Sen offers a set menu in the evening which includes the most juicy and succulent caramelised pork known as thit kho to as well as a mango salad that is next level refreshing. Remember to save room for dessert as they do a killer pandan crepe with grated coconut, palm sugar and caramel and it cannot be found anywhere else in Auckland!
The creators of Kiss Kiss and Happy Boy have explored the world of Vietnamese food and opened up Love Exposure on Dominion Road. With the colourful fit out and quality food, Love Exposure has become a fave squad dinner destination for Aucklanders. The menu consists of traditional Vietnamese street food and has become renowned for serving one of the tastiest tofu bánh mi in Auckland, even people who aren't even vegetarian can vouch for this! The deep-fried spring rolls are something you should get amongst! The thin and crispy outer layer soaks up all the fish sauce and the iceberg lettuce wraps give it freshness and crunch, not to be missed.
Say hello to this little Vietnamese café, Hello Mister. This eatery conveniently offers half sizes of all their meals so you can try a bit of everything. We were most impressed with the colourful cabinet displaying an array of rice paper rolls. There is an overwhelming choice of flavour combinations and the vermicelli noodle salad is a crowd favourite. Served with cucumber, mint, fish sauce and coconut cream, it's a party to the palate and you will not regret it.